Creator: Gearbox Software
Gearbox Software is a Texas-based video game developer.They got their start making Expansion Packs and Ports for the Half-Life series, which were generally regarded somewhere between So Okay, It's Average and pretty good. They came into their own when they released Brothers in Arms for the PC and Xbox, an original IP that managed to sell very well despite its lack of pedigree and very realistic approach to the FPS genre.After making a few sequels, they announced another IP they were working on - Borderlands. After a lengthy preview in Game Informer, a last-minute art style shift, and good buzz all around, the game became an unexpected Sleeper Hit, managing to sell incredibly well despite being an unproven IP.Also, after 3D Realms went bankrupt, they purchased the Duke Nukem franchise, and released Duke Nukem Forever to lukewarm critical acclaim and the sound of flying pigs.In late April 2013, they acquired the Homeworld franchise from shuttered video game publisher THQ.Compare to Zombie Studios, a similar American game developer that, like Gearbox Software, is an independent company that develops games for a multitude of major companies and uses the Unreal Engine extensively.
Games developed by Gearbox Software:
- Half-Life expansions
- Opposing Force
- Blue Shift
- Brothers in Arms series
- Furious4 (since split off into its own IP)
- Duke Nukem Forever note
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
Tropes that apply to the company:
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Oddly averted - despite being headquartered in Texas, and being the minds behind the Borderlands series (which is, put lightly, Gun Porn: The Game), with the second installment being the highest-selling game released by 2K Games, no one seems to mention the two facts together.
- Game Engine: They use Unreal Engine extensively.
- One of Us: Yes, they are game developers, but the sheer number of Shout Outs present in their games qualifies them for this status again.
- Shout-Out: Common; Borderlands and Borderlands 2 even have their own pages just for shout outs.
- Also note how Randy Pitchford acts in every interview (when asked which game he was most looking forward to playing, he immediately and unabashedly said Ni no Kuni)
- Sleeper Hit: Actually backed up by sales figures - Pitchford noted in more than one interview that Borderlands actually sold better as time went on (compared to usual burst of sales at release and slow trickle afterwards), thanks to good word of mouth.
- Vaporware: Defied by their rescuing of Duke Nukem Forever.